Money laundering by Cong CM..ED attaches Rs 27-cr farmhouse

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has attached the Rs 27.29-crore Delhi farmhouse of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a money laundering case, an official said on Monday.

The agency attached the farmhouse in Dera Mandi village near Mehrauli in south Delhi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

"The property's purchase value is Rs 6.61 crore, though its market value is over Rs 27 crore. Singh used his illicit money to purchase it in the name of Maple Destinations and Dreambuild, wherein his son Vikramaditya (major shareholder) and daughter Aparajita (minor shareholder) are directors," the Enforcement Directorate official said.

He said the farmhouse was purchased for Rs 1.20 crore as per its registry value, and payment made by two cheques for Rs 15 lakh each and two cheques for Rs 45 lakh each while Rs 5.41 crore was paid in cash.

The official said the farmhouse was purchased by funding done through shell companies and it was the second attachment in the case.

Investigators found that the funds for the farmhouse's purchase were provided through Vakamulla Chandrashekar, promoter and director of Tarini Group of companies engaged in hydroelectricity projects.

"Incidentally, Chandrashekar's company was awarded the Saikothi plant in Himachal Pradesh's Chamba district. The money for buying the farmhouse was given through cheques from Chandrashekar's personal bank accounts maintained with Karur Vyasa, Kotak Mahindra and ICICI banks in Delhi. He had given a total of Rs 5.9 crore to Singh and his family members," the official said.

The Enforcement Directorate's move came after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a chargesheet against the senior Congress leader and others for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs 6.03 crore.

The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Virbhadra Singh and others in 2015 following the CBI's FIR dated September 23, 2015, against him, his wife Pratibha, Life Insurance Corporation agent Anand Chauhan and associate Chunni Lal, and other unknown persons.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry found that Virbhadra Singh, as a Union Minister from 2009 to 2012, allegedly accumulated assets worth Rs 6.03 crore, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.